McMullen's brewery takes the trade's fight to Downing Street
The trade took its protests over plans for a compulsory 100 per cent liquid pint to the very top, when licensee Chris McCabe took a 22-pint glass to 10 Downing Street.
McCabe, accompanied by McMullen's brewery representative Dennis Ruttledge, handed three pint glasses through the door of Number 10, as a protest against government proposals to force licensees to serve a full pint.
"We decided to come here today because ministers recently backed proposals to force us to serve pints out of lined glasses to, in their words, protect the public from short measures," he said.
"But I think the only short measures that are being served are being served here in Downing Street, where the government is not tackling issues like high duty, bootlegging and licensing hours."
McCabe and Ruttledge illustrated their point with a full 22 pint glass, which they carried up to the door of the building, and then poured down a drain on Downing Street.
Issues, such as the Criminal Justice and Police Bill, licensing reform and of course the full pint, were written on the side of the glass so onlookers could not be mistaken about what the pair were intending to achieve.
"As a brewer we suffer from all these problems in pubs and therefore sell less beer, that's why I thought it was important to come today," said Ruttledge. But he admitted he was not sure their actions would be enough to force the government into action. "It's all in the lap of the Gods now," he said, "but we'll keep knocking on the door until somebody answers."
McCabe from the Railway Inn and Murdochs in Redruth, Cornwall, said he was drawing inspiration from last year's petrol crisis, which brought the country to a standstill in just a few days.
"We have got to keep plugging away at it, like the fuel protesters did. I think it should be from fuel pumps to beer pumps. It would be lovely if all the drinkers in the country united for once."
The government is considering plans to introduce a 100 per cent liquid pint, despite objections from the trade. An announcement is expected shortly.